The name in and of itself is enough to send a cold shiver up your spine. The dude has been odoriferous as a pile of horse shit. More dank that a 3 day old wet sock. So poor it's surprising he doesn't have a guitar case open on the mound while hurling.
And, really, I'm probably being nice.
Franklin thrust himself into the spotlight this off-season. And in a good way. He took to Twitter hard and was one of the few athletes I've seen on the social networking site that would pretty much respond to anyone that Tweeted at him. Didn't matter how stupid or benign the inquiry was, Franklin was sending out responses and breaking down the walls of athlete v fandom at an alarming rate. No, he wasn't Kobe Bryant or Albert Pujols... but he was a bonafide MLB pitcher and the closer for a team that chances are you root for.
Then he Tweeted a picture where Pujols was in his underwear in the background.
The rest is a downhill journey that's pretty remarkable. From opening day he can't get an out. And this week in Houston he was brought in with a 6-0 lead before getting tagged with 2 earned runs and a quick hook. Soon the Cardinals were in a battle for a win. You can't put all 5 runs on Franklin, but even before April is out, doesn't it feel like Franklin's SO bad that when he comes it, this rut he's in rubs off on everybody.
Fans, players- I mean it's like he's got Ebola or something. We don't want to even think about it. LaRussa doesn't want to be asked about it. Everybody just wants the guy to go away.
Maybe not forever. Like I said, his Twitter relationships he made this winter went a long way with most rational people. They root for the dude because he's just like us... only a bit richer and a bit cooler... but other than that, totally like us! But the Cardinals have to be smart here and make sure a proud guy doesn't taint whatever legacy he has and whatever season they have by continuing to let Franklin pitch.
It's not fair to anyone.
Time for the phantom rib cage pull. Or the classic arm fatigue and get Franklin away from the game for a couple of weeks. In fact, send the guy to some tropical island and don't let him even know what the team is up to. Have him come back at the end of May and maybe give him a go. If he's still toast, pay the man, and shut him down.
It's gone beyond pissing up wins and on to infestation of everyone in the clubhouse. And when, as a team, you start worrying about the well being of a struggling player at the detriment of the other 24 guys? Well, you're in for trouble.
And probably another year without the playoffs.
Now, the Friday Links...
- Hipsters? Need not apply. LINK HERE
- People, in pizza cosutmes, becoming pizza. LINK HERE
- The most awesome slingshots ever made. LINK HERE
- 10 videos of people running into screen doors. LINK HERE
- Type creepy. Just like in the movies. LINK HERE
- Tom Haver Foods. LINK HERE
Have a big weekend.